drhiii
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 1:06 am
Location: Colorado

Weed Lawn

I don't know how else to launch right in and make a fool of myself but than to do it... here's the situation...

I live in Colorado. The Front Range in Colorado Springs. Essentially high altitude but rather temperate climate. I have a small lawn. Correction. I have a small set of square feet that could be a lawn. 5 years ago I mulched the 400 square feet, planted grass seed, watered it, and it grew. Then I managed to burn it with commercial fertilizer.

Then... I tried to apply further grass seed by applying patches. I now have probably 5 different kinds of grass in this little plot. 1/3rd of it is in shadow and is barely alive. The other 2/3rds is grass meant for shade and is burned. I basically have a failed multi faceted grass area that could pass for the dark side of the moon.

I have tried fertilizing it with evil commercial fertilizer. I have watered the hell out of it on the advice of a neighbor who cares for lawns. The soil is part Pikes Peak front range clay and while I mixed in many bags of top soil, unless I go at it again and mulch the holy heck out of it, try to add more top soil, commercially fertilize the bejeepers out of it, and waster more water, I do not have and do not want that kind of green thumb.

I am in a word... fed up. I DO NOT want a lawn. I don't want it because I do not want the commercial relationships to fertilizer companies. I do not want a lawn because I can't seem to do it. I don't want a lawn because even tho it is a small plot, like 400 sq feet, it ain't working I believe due to the soil, the partial shade and partial direct sun, and because I have likely willed it to not work.

So after all that whining... what I REALLY want to do is plant something that will grow like a weed. Across the street is what the neighbor calls catnip tho I broke some off, showed it to our cats and they went running because they hated the scent. Regardless, it seems to just grow.

What I am looking for is something I can just plant, water, apply some organic fertilizing effort, and have it grow. And now be grass. I don't want to get into some kind of exotic Xeriscaping. I obviously don't have a green thumb. I also don't care to have a green lawn like the Smiths and the Jones. What I really want is something to take off, like a weed, but not be ugly or offensive like broadleaf or similar.

So after all that... can anyone advise someone with a bad attitude but willing to give it a go on how to plant something that will take over what used to be a small lawn? My neighbor to the right has some very nice xeriscaping, and a lot of work. My neighbor to the left has a lawn that is not much better than mine, and puts in a lot of work, for what? A neighbor two doors down spent $1500 for a similar area to have her 400 sq feet sodded, and the damn thing is already failing. What is the point of that? My point is, without a tremendous amount of effort and kowtowing to the commercial fertilizer and antiweed chemicals gods, why? I just cannot go that way anymore.

Help? What can I put into the ground, and I am more than willing to mulch again, mix in soil and nutrients, and water the hell out of it... but something that would grow like a weed, and not be a lawn. If I could grow interesting looking tumbleweed I would be all for it. I am looking for advise to do something interesting with this 400 sq feet that is NOT grass. And not sophisticated xeriscaping.

Help......................?

drhiii
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 1:06 am
Location: Colorado

addendum

I didn't articulate one additional thought which is the overriding motivation in my post above.

I want to do something natural. I do NOT NOT NOT to give another damn dime to Monsanto or other chemical outfits just to have a green plot in front of a house. If I could have tumbleweeds or prairie grass growing in front, as long as it had some kind of feel to it, I am all for it. Anything but a green grass lawn. Done with that, and that companies that post commercials on TV saying this is a good thing. Enough....

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rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

If you want grass, you could try native grasses like buffalo grass or blue gama. They are extremely tough and hardy, drought tolerant. You would mow rarely or not at all, just let it become meadow. I don't think it is native but blue fescue is another hardy grass that only gets 6 - 8 " tall and you wouldn't mow it.

Other sort of grassy, drought tolerant ground covers would be liriope (only cold hardy to zone 6) or ribbongrass. Those would get a foot or so tall and would not be mowed.

Or you can plant it in ground covers eg creeping thyme, artemisia, sedum, prostrate veronica/ speedwell.
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bangstrom
Senior Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Weed Lawn

Mulching, watering, and fertilizing encourages weeds and grass. If you want to go native or xeric you need to let the landscape go really dry and only spot water the plants you want to grow. Black plastic under gravel is the only easy way to keep down weeds. What the South West needs is a thorn less goat-head. Personally, I don't like buffalo grass lawns because they become "bunchy" but there are some buffalo grass- fescue mixes that work if you moderate the watering so one doesn't overtake the other. A lot of people are discovering that lawns are more trouble and water than they are worth if you don't have the rainfall.

I suspect your neighbor's "catnip" was its drought tolerant cousin "horehound."

tomc
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

There is nothing natural about a mono-culture lawn. Learn to love clovers and violets.

Take the leaf-bag off the end of the mower for a while.

Apply manure in the fall for the next twnety years or so.
Think like a tree
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greenstubbs
Senior Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: N. Nevada

How about just painting the lawn and stop worrying??
https://www.lawnlift.com/
https://www.grassbgreen.com/

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gixxerific
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

greenstubbs wrote:How about just painting the lawn and stop worrying??
https://www.lawnlift.com/
https://www.grassbgreen.com/
Paint can be hazardous. :lol: I'm just going all weeds next year. That is the only thing growing this year. So why not? :idea:

Or wait a minute what about beans or corn. Everywhere I drive around here it's field after field of beans, corn, beans, corn, cattle, repeat. You think the subdivision committee would have a problem with that? :?:

ameliat
Full Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:13 am

I remember reading an article a few years ago about a man in Colorado who got rid of his grass and planted thyme. It didn't get into much detail so I don't know what type, etc he used.

greenstubbs
Senior Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:41 pm
Location: N. Nevada

Paint can be hazardous.
I can't tell if your being serious or joking here. But if you do your homework, you will see that they use a waterbased paint.



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